Singing sensation

Luling girl’s voice, confidence are keys to vocal success

You might have heard Erin Freese’s voice rising above the field at a local football game. You might have heard her song through the crowd at the Alligator Festival. If you have ever been to a local singing competition, you definitely have not missed her tunes.

Freese, 15, has been singing for most of her life and has dozens of accomplishments – but this is only the beginning of her career.

Freese is only a sophomore at Hahnville High but has been named to the Parish Honor Choir every year since 2008 and the All-State Choir for two years. She has sung the national anthem at Destrehan and Hahnville football games. She performed on stage at the Alligator Festival and at Oak Alley Plantation. She is also a member of Louisiana Kids, an educational and entertainment organization.

“Erin has worked diligently to be accepted into the American Choral Director’s Association All-State Choir and the Louisiana Music Educators Association All-State Choir two years in a row, as a freshman and a sophomore…Erin has impressed me with her work ethic; she has stayed after school regularly to practice for these auditions without my prompting,” said Craig Matherne, HHS choir director. “Erin has an exceptional purity in her vocal tone quality. Paired with her confidence as a sight reader, she has a bright future ahead of her.”

Freese began singing in 3rd grade at Mimosa Park Elementary, but she said she “wasn’t that into it” until the parish honor choir director complimented her voice. When she realized that she had such a strong natural talent, the prospect of becoming a singer was more exciting.

She has never had voice lessons outside of school, but the district provides lessons to her during class now that she has made All-State Choir.

After splitting her time between band and choir in middle school, Freese decided to devote her time to singing in high school.

But even playing clarinet in the band for a few years helped Freese develop her singing skills.

“It was easier to read music because of band,” she said. In fact, she said that at a competition the judges told her she sight reads sheet music at a college level.

More recently she was a member of a Christian rock band called “Kicking and Screaming.” The band broke up, but Freese hopes to restart a new group of musicians under the same name here in St. Charles.

Freese’s mother, April, said that she believes the talent is hereditary.

“My mother’s family all sing, but none do it professionally – that must be where it comes from but it skipped me,” April said, laughing.

Freese said she especially likes to sing Italian pieces with the choir because they convey such a wide range of deep emotions.

“You can express emotion with what you sing,” she said. “I know I can sing and it’s fun to be able to sing different things and bring joy to people.”

She wants to go on to a career in music but is not sure yet which path she will take.

She hopes to get a scholarship for choir, but is also interested in trying out for American Idol or America’s Got Talent.


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